Planned retreat from remote outposts in Afghanistan

#1
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091005/ap_on_re_as/as_afghanistan

Hundreds of insurgents armed with automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades stormed a pair of remote outposts near the Pakistan border, killing eight U.S. soldiers and capturing more than 20 Afghan security troops in the deadliest assault against U.S. forces in more than a year, military officials said.

The fierce gunbattle, which erupted at dawn Saturday in the Kamdesh district of mountainous Nuristan province...
...
It was the heaviest U.S. loss of life in a single battle since July 2008, when nine American soldiers were killed in a raid on an outpost in Wanat in the same province.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, plans to shift U.S. troops away from remote outposts that are difficult to defend
...
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.
It should be said that the Nuristanis are separate people with own language. They are not Pashtuns (and the Taliban is namely Pashtun's organisation).

The region was a key staging area for Arab militants who fought alongside Afghan warriors during the U.S.-backed war against the Soviets in the 1980s and is one of the few parts of South Asia where Muslims follow the hardline Wahhabi sect of Islam.
So during the Soviet invasion they were warriors but now... terrorists?
 
#2
Presumably, if the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack they must be active in the area? Or do you think these were Nuristani fighters?

Islamic movement of Uzbekistan has been active in the North, could this be some kind of ALQ coordinated attack?

Found this, doesn't look good;

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. NATO spokesman Brig. Gen. Eric Tremblay said the assailants included a mix of "tribal militias," Taliban and fighters loyal to Sirajudin Haqqani, an al Qaeda-linked militant based in sanctuaries in the tribal areas of Pakistan near the Afghan border.
 
#3
KGB_resident said:
So during the Soviet invasion they were warriors[/u] but now... terrorists?


Yep :D

In much the same way of "offering fraternal assistance" meant sending loads of Panzer Divisions into a country which was having a second thoughts about staying in the Warsaw Pact :wink:
 
#4
KGB_resident said:
So during the Soviet invasion they were warriors[/u] but now... terrorists?


The media are great like that, aren't they? Whether its is the USA, UK, Russian Federation or anywhere else, they can always be relied upon to spout balls.
 
#5
I think that most Afghan Tribes are getting pretty P**** off with being called Tallys and being bombed by the septics because of crap inteligence which has more to do with a centurys old family feuding than insergency
 
#6
nigegilb said:
Presumably, if the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack they must be active in the area? Or do you think these were Nuristani fighters?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuristan_Province

Nuristan Province
...
The population of around 300,000 people is 99.3% Nuristani
...
The main Nuristani tribes in the province are Katta (38%), Kalasha (30%),...
It seems to me that I know what is their preferable weapon.

nigegilb said:
Islamic movement of Uzbekistan has been active in the North, could this be some kind of ALQ coordinated attack?

Found this, doesn't look good;

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. NATO spokesman Brig. Gen. Eric Tremblay said the assailants included a mix of "tribal militias," Taliban and fighters loyal to Sirajudin Haqqani, an al Qaeda-linked militant based in sanctuaries in the tribal areas of Pakistan near the Afghan border.
Relations between the Nuristanis and the Taliban are not easy

Nuristan was the scene of some of the heaviest guerrilla fighting during the 1979-89 invasion and occupation of Afghanistan by Soviet forces. For a period of time during this era, the eastern area of Nuristan was a semi-autonomous region called the Islamic Revolutionary State of Afghanistan, or Dawlat. It was a Wahhibist Islamic state run by anti-Soviet warlord Maulvi Afzal and was recognized by Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. The Dawlat dissolved under Taliban rule.
Remarkable the Nuristanis adopted Islam relatively recently

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuristani_people

The Arabic word "Kufr" means not only to disbelieve, but also to blaspheme, and therefore, its derivative "Kafir" means one who commits blasphemy against Allah in the Islamic tradition, and the Nurestan province was known as Kafiristan, before the majority were converted to Islam during Abdur Rahman Khan's rule around 1895. They are now known as Nuristani. However, they have retained some of their old customs and traces of their previous beliefs.
Why not to allow the Nuristanis to live as they wish and remove all foreign troops from their lands?
 
#7
Could be the Nuristanis don't like Central Govt and are working with Talib to get rid of coalition troops on their soil.

Loose Alignments

Indeed, Giustozzi says it appears the Taliban movement reached the limits of where its fighters could infiltrate back in 2006 -- namely, their old strongholds in the south and southeast of Afghanistan.

Since then, he says, they appear to have entered into loose alignments with factions that have followers or fighters closer to Kabul -- as well as in eastern and northern parts of Afghanistan.

"I believe that they probably tried very hard over the last few years to expand their own organization eastward and northward and they found that there are big difficulties because they didn't have much of a base in these areas. They never had," Giustozzi says. "And after trying and trying, they decided that, probably, they didn't have the potential to do much military action, and therefore, resorted to alliances with other groups in order to transform their jihad movement into a national movement."

Indeed, Afghan security officials blame the Sarajuddin Haqanni network for the suicide attack at Kabul's five-star Serena Hotel in January, as well as much of the recent violence in southeastern Afghanistan. The Haqanni network is a former mujahedin party that had fought Soviet troops in Afghanistan during the 1980s and now has links with the Taliban and the Al-Qaeda network.

Taliban Propaganda

Nick Grono, deputy president of the International Crisis Group, tells RFE/RL that insurgent propaganda shows that other factions also are diversifying the insurgency.

"In a recent report we did, we were looking at Taliban propaganda. And one of the interesting findings there was that, in fact, there wasn't the kind of coordination between the different groups -- the antigovernment forces -- whether it was Haqanni or the Taliban or those that are more closely associated with Al-Qaeda," Grono says. "There wasn't a strong degree of cooperation that we could identify, at least from their writings. In fact, often they were blaming each other or criticizing people who were claiming to speak for the Taliban -- saying they do not represent the Taliban. But what you are seeing is that they are all more successfully pursuing their objectives."

There has been a growing body of people who are opposed to the central government and are opposed to the presence of foreign forces here.
MacKenzie says the unifying element for insurgent factions in Afghanistan is their anger at the central government in Kabul -- whether the grievances are the result of corrupt government administrators, civilian casualties from U.S.-led coalition air strikes, anger about house raids by foreign troops, or income losses caused by the government's opium-eradication programs.


But MacKenzie says the patchwork of factions and disenfranchised Afghan groups now comprising the insurgency is different than the unified movement the Taliban had been during the 1990s when it rose to power.

"There has been a growing body of people who are opposed to the central government and are opposed to the presence of foreign forces here," MacKenzie says. "Some are ready to make alliances among themselves, at least in the short term. That does not mean that they are all Taliban. And I think that, should they prevail and the foreign forces were to leave, there would be a lot of political fallout. I do not think that these diverse groups share a common vision of what Afghanistan could or should be minus the central government or the international presence."
 
#8
Withdraw to the high population density areas, use the surge of troops to create some order for long enough to declare 'victory'. Hand Afghanistan over to the Mayor of Kabul and pull out.

You know this is coming.
 
#9
The only issue I have with this policy is the fact that 70% of Afghans live in villages. It is not urbanised like Iraq. So I don't really see it working.

But I would agree, there is a fork in the road coming up very soon..
 
#10
When the Russians invaded afghanistan they used the Iranians( Persian) army to help them get as far as Herat but a British Army officer, Eldred Pottinger,who just happend to be there spying at the time,helped kick the Russians out. The British Government then decided to " Save Afghanistan". Sound familier, but this was in 1838 and ended with William Brydon the only survivor of the 4500 troops left in Kabul in 1842

I do hope history does not repeat it's self
 
#11
KGB_resident said:
So during the Soviet invasion they were warriors but now... terrorists?
Well, back when your countrymen were systematically wiping a large proportion of the Afghan people off the face of the earth, the Arabs fighting in Afghanistan hadn't - unless I missed something - flown any commercial airliners into downtown Manhattan...
 
#12
gallowglass said:
KGB_resident said:
So during the Soviet invasion they were warriors but now... terrorists?
Well, back when your countrymen were systematically wiping a large proportion of the Afghan people off the face of the earth, the Arabs fighting in Afghanistan hadn't - unless I missed something - flown any commercial airliners into downtown Manhattan...
I'm happy to hear your learned opinion Gallowglass.

So, you agree that the Nuristanis who resisted the Soviet invation were warriors. But the Nuristanis who fight against Western troops are... who they are exactly from your point of view: warriors or terrorists?

As for the Arabs in Afghanistan them anyway there were (in 80's) and there are now quite few of them.
 
#13
KGB_resident said:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091005/ap_on_re_as/as_afghanistan

Hundreds of insurgents armed with automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades stormed a pair of remote outposts near the Pakistan border, killing eight U.S. soldiers and capturing more than 20 Afghan security troops in the deadliest assault against U.S. forces in more than a year, military officials said.

The fierce gunbattle, which erupted at dawn Saturday in the Kamdesh district of mountainous Nuristan province...
...
It was the heaviest U.S. loss of life in a single battle since July 2008, when nine American soldiers were killed in a raid on an outpost in Wanat in the same province.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, plans to shift U.S. troops away from remote outposts that are difficult to defend
...
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

I cannot see the point in that strategy at all. It will just mean that the insurgents will control those areas with no opposition, and effectivly saying when things get tough we will move out and thereby giving a victory to the insurgents. Unless I am missing something?
 
#14
gallowglass said:
KGB_resident said:
So during the Soviet invasion they were warriors but now... terrorists?
Well, back when your countrymen were systematically wiping a large proportion of the Afghan people off the face of the earth, the Arabs fighting in Afghanistan hadn't - unless I missed something - flown any commercial airliners into downtown Manhattan...
I don't recall any Afghans flying any commercial arilines into downtown Manhattan at any time.

Edit:- Tried to delete this post due to not reading the post I was replying to properly, but it wouldn't allow me to. I now have and realise what it said, as in the Arabs fighting in Afghanistan (not meaning from Afghanitan).
 
#15
Cabana said:
KGB_resident said:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091005/ap_on_re_as/as_afghanistan

Hundreds of insurgents armed with automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades stormed a pair of remote outposts near the Pakistan border, killing eight U.S. soldiers and capturing more than 20 Afghan security troops in the deadliest assault against U.S. forces in more than a year, military officials said.

The fierce gunbattle, which erupted at dawn Saturday in the Kamdesh district of mountainous Nuristan province...
...
It was the heaviest U.S. loss of life in a single battle since July 2008, when nine American soldiers were killed in a raid on an outpost in Wanat in the same province.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, plans to shift U.S. troops away from remote outposts that are difficult to defend
...
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

I cannot see the point in that strategy at all. It will just mean that the insurgents will control those areas with no opposition, and effectivly saying when things get tough we will move out and thereby giving a victory to the insurgents. Unless I am missing something?
Yer you are this is the seventh time it's happened in the last 200 years Russia twice us four
 
#16
Found a bit of an answer here, there basically aren't enough troops to go round, but we knew that already;

David Kilcullen, a counterinsurgency expert who has long advised Gen. Petraeus on Iraq and Afghanistan, supported the outpost strategy in Iraq. But he says the U.S. is making a mistake by deploying so many troops to remote bases in Afghanistan.

Mr. Kilcullen, a retired Australian military officer, notes that 80% of the population of southern Afghanistan lives in two cities, Kandahar and Lashkar Gah. The U.S. doesn't have many troops in either one of them.

"The population in major towns and villages is vulnerable because we are off elsewhere chasing the enemy," he said.

Senior U.S. commanders in Afghanistan acknowledge the need to better protect the country's cities. Last month, Taliban suicide bombers and gunmen mounted a coordinated assault on three government buildings in Kabul that killed at least 20 people and wounded close to 60 more. One target, the Afghan Justice Ministry, was located just a few hundred yards away from the home of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
 
#17
nigegilb said:
Found a bit of an answer here, there basically aren't enough troops to go round, but we knew that already;

David Kilcullen, a counterinsurgency expert who has long advised Gen. Petraeus on Iraq and Afghanistan, supported the outpost strategy in Iraq. But he says the U.S. is making a mistake by deploying so many troops to remote bases in Afghanistan.

Mr. Kilcullen, a retired Australian military officer, notes that 80% of the population of southern Afghanistan lives in two cities, Kandahar and Lashkar Gah. The U.S. doesn't have many troops in either one of them.

"The population in major towns and villages is vulnerable because we are off elsewhere chasing the enemy," he said.

Senior U.S. commanders in Afghanistan acknowledge the need to better protect the country's cities. Last month, Taliban suicide bombers and gunmen mounted a coordinated assault on three government buildings in Kabul that killed at least 20 people and wounded close to 60 more. One target, the Afghan Justice Ministry, was located just a few hundred yards away from the home of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
The problem is that w (the politicians) fail to accept a simple fact - to do this properly we need a combination of hight -tech (Force Multiplier) and boots and bayonets on the ground! No amount of UAV and JDAM can overcome the fact that we need a lot more Infantry!
 
#18
So instead of "Secure and Hold", then "Hold and Expand" when the situation allows as per the good book, it is now surge to shrinkwrap (secure) FOBs? Sounds a wee bit like "strategic straightening of the frontlines"...runaway.

It appears to me Oil_Slick posesses profetic powers ;-)
 
#19
tropper66 said:
Cabana said:
KGB_resident said:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091005/ap_on_re_as/as_afghanistan

Hundreds of insurgents armed with automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades stormed a pair of remote outposts near the Pakistan border, killing eight U.S. soldiers and capturing more than 20 Afghan security troops in the deadliest assault against U.S. forces in more than a year, military officials said.

The fierce gunbattle, which erupted at dawn Saturday in the Kamdesh district of mountainous Nuristan province...
...
It was the heaviest U.S. loss of life in a single battle since July 2008, when nine American soldiers were killed in a raid on an outpost in Wanat in the same province.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, plans to shift U.S. troops away from remote outposts that are difficult to defend
...
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

I cannot see the point in that strategy at all. It will just mean that the insurgents will control those areas with no opposition, and effectivly saying when things get tough we will move out and thereby giving a victory to the insurgents. Unless I am missing something?
Yer you are this is the seventh time it's happened in the last 200 years Russia twice us four
Well if the said strategy (ie avoiding difficult areas) is used of course things are not going to work....

Learn from past mistakes and we shall prevail, do not learn from past mistakes and suffer the consequences.
 
#20
rickshaw-major said:
nigegilb said:
Found a bit of an answer here, there basically aren't enough troops to go round, but we knew that already;

David Kilcullen, a counterinsurgency expert who has long advised Gen. Petraeus on Iraq and Afghanistan, supported the outpost strategy in Iraq. But he says the U.S. is making a mistake by deploying so many troops to remote bases in Afghanistan.

Mr. Kilcullen, a retired Australian military officer, notes that 80% of the population of southern Afghanistan lives in two cities, Kandahar and Lashkar Gah. The U.S. doesn't have many troops in either one of them.

"The population in major towns and villages is vulnerable because we are off elsewhere chasing the enemy," he said.

Senior U.S. commanders in Afghanistan acknowledge the need to better protect the country's cities. Last month, Taliban suicide bombers and gunmen mounted a coordinated assault on three government buildings in Kabul that killed at least 20 people and wounded close to 60 more. One target, the Afghan Justice Ministry, was located just a few hundred yards away from the home of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
The problem is that w (the politicians) fail to accept a simple fact - to do this properly we need a combination of hight -tech (Force Multiplier) and boots and bayonets on the ground! No amount of UAV and JDAM can overcome the fact that we need a lot more Infantry!
That added with our muppet politicians trying to win a war in a vast country on the cheap.
 

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